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Matt, xxvl 24. Luke xxil 22. — " The Son of man goeth, as it is written of him, — goeth, as it was determined." , The Son of man — "Who is he ? and what does this appellation mean ? what is its reference, and what is its signification ? And his going — What is IT ? whence does he go ? whither does he go ? how does he go ? These are the topics which the passages of Scripture now read naturally bring before the mind. These were topics which, in the days of his flesh, deeply engaged the attention both of the enemies and the friends of our Lord Jesus. When, on the occasion of certain Greeks seeking an interview with him, — seeing in this event the handful of firstfruits of the fulflhneut of the ancient oracles, "To Shiloh," when come, " shall be the gathering of the people," and "in Abraham's seed shall all nations be blessed," — he said, " The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified " — " ow is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out — And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me ;" the unbelieving Jews exclaimed, " Who is the Son of man?" ' Who7)i can he mean? Cau he mean himself? And if he mean himself, lohat does he mean ?' And his going was as much a mystery to them as his name. When he said to them, " I go my way ; and ye shall seek me, and shall not find me, and shall die in your sins : whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him ? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. What manner of saying is this ?" They had indeed no wish to know the truth ; and our Lord left them with those words of fearful augur}^ : " When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he " — " the same that I said to you from the beginning." They now know who the Son of man is, and have found out where he has gone, and that " where he is, there they can never come." The friends of our Lord, his chosen disciples, had no doubt who the Son of man was. It is very questionable how far, at that time, they understood the meaning of this appellation, but they were quite satisfied as to its reference. How could it be
EXP. XXIII.] THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. 93 otherwise, after be had said to them, " Who do men sav that T, the Son of man, am ? Who say ye that I am ?" and tlicv had replied, by the mouth of Peter, ''Thou art Christ, the Son of the living Grod ;" and he had assured them that "flesh and blood had not tauolit them this, but his Father in heaven." But though they were quite clear as to who the Son of man was, they Avere very much in the dark with respect to his "going." The truth is, they had no wish that he should go at all. It is highly probable that their faith was that of their nation, who held, that the Messiah should come, and not go ; they thought that they had read in the law, " that Christ abidcth for ever." Their hopes were connected with his staying, not with his going. They had " trusted that this was he who should redeem Israel :" and they asked themselves, ' How is he to redeem Israel if he go away ; for assuredly Israel is not yet redeemed ?' Whenever he talked about going, bewilderment filled their minds, and sorrow their hearts. They very imperfectly understood either the dignity of his person or the design of his mission. But he was more than all the world to them, — the life of their life — their stay — their hope. They had left all for him, and he was to them more than all they had left. They were very unwilling to part with him. What could they do without him f And then, there was something about the way in which he spoke of leaving them which alarmed them ; for though they seem to have flattered themselves that his words, when he spoke of suffering many things, being mocked by the chief priests, delivered to the Gentiles, crucified, and on the third day rising again, were figurative, and did not mean all they seemed to say, — yet still they feared that the mystery involved in his words was something terrible. . When he told them that he must go to the Father, and that, in going to the Father, he would prepare a place, and return, and take them to himself, and added, " Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," — 'Surely, after all I have said, you should know Avhy, where, how, I am going," — Philip, speaking, I doubt not, the sentiments of them all, replied, " Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way ?" And afterwards, when he said to them, " A little while and ye shall not see me : and again a little while, and ye shall see me because I go to the Father ; his disciples said among themselves. What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me : and again a little while, and ye shall see me ; and, Because I go to the Father ? What is this that he saith, A little while ? we cannot tell what he saith." They find new difficulty
in every additional expression. Ah ! they were not willing to confess to themselves all they knew — at any rate, all they surmised — on the subject. They did not clecTrly " understand the sayings, and they were afraid to ask him." It has been all explained to them long ago. The mystery has been made manifest. He has gone ; and they, ere long, became persuaded, that it was expedient for them that he should go, even
94 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G, [EXP. XXIII. thougli tliey, for a seasou, should be left behind him. They are gone too — gone to him ; they have " seen him again, and their hearts rejoice, and their joy no man taketh from them," — rejoicing, "with a joy unspeakable and full of glory," that he came, that he went, that he will come again, — bringing them with him, to revisit this earth (once the scene of their sinful, and his sinless, sorrows, — then to become the theatre of his, and of their, glory), and, after reclaiming that part of his body in theirs, which, even when " the spirit was life through his righteousness," has been '' dead in consequence of sin," — return, at the head of the unnumbered millions of the fully redeemed, " purchased possession," to enter into the palace of his Father and their Father, the great King, the Lord of hosts; " and there they shall abide." We, my brethren, are free from the perplexities equally of the unbelieving Jews, and of the disciples, as yet unbaptized with that Holy Ghost whose mission was one of the blessed effects of that going, which they so dimly apprehended, so deeply deprecated. If he had not gone, the Comforter could not have come. But he has gone, and sent him from the Father; and it is to him that we owe our freedom from all indistinctness and uncertainty on the subjects which the text brings before our minds. "VVe know well, I trust, both the reference and the meaning of the appellation, " The Son of man." We know whither he has gone, and we know the wa3^ We know that, by penal suffering, by unutterable mental agonies, and by a most violent dissolution of the constituent parts of his humanity, he has gone, — his soul into the separate state, and his body to the grave ; and that these constituent parts of his humanity having been reunited in a glorious resurrection, he has, by a triumphant ascension, gone into heaven — the heaven of heavens, and "sat down for ever on the right hand of the Majesty on high." I.— THE SO OF MA .
§ 1. Reference of the appeUation. othing is more certain than that the appellation, " the Son of man," belongs to Jesus Christ, and is peculiar to him. The prophet Ezekiel is, indeed, often addressed " son of man ;" but neither he nor any one else, except Jesus Christ, is ever termed " the Son of man." In a passage already quoted, our Lord most ^ expressly appropriates the appellation, — " Who do men say that h^ , I, the Son of man, am ?" The phrase occurs sixt^^six times, if ^ I mistake not, in the gospel liistories, and in every case is used by our Lord himself. Indeed, the only instance in Avhich it is employed by any one else, is when Stephen, at his martyrdom, "looking up stedfistly to heaven," and beholding the Shechinah, or Divine glory, and Jesus in the midst of it, exclaimed, " Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." The reason of these remarkable facts
PART I.] THE SO OF MA . 95 may probably come out in the course of our observations. It has been supposed, that in two cases in the Book of Eevelation our Lord is termed the Son of man ; but this is a mistake. The passages referred to are, chap. i. 12, and chap. xiv. 14. In both pLices the reference is to appearances of our Lord ; but the expression is not "the Son of man," but it is " one like to the son of man," or rather "one like to a son of man," — that is, a person in human form. The expression in both cases is phiinly a translation of Daniel's phrase, chap. vii. 13, where the reference is to the Messiah, but where the true rendering is, " one like a son of man," one in human form. It has been often and confidently stated that the appellation, " the Son of man," was one of the names of the promised Messiah current among the Jews. Of this there is no evidence — nay, there is evidence in the question of the Jews already referred to, "Who is this Son of man?" that no such usage existed. That it is, however, a designation of our Lord in his official character, I think there can be no doubt. In John xii. 34, the appellations "the Christ" and "the Son of man" alternate; and, in Luke xxii. 69, 70, "the Son of man" and "the Son of God;" and, in Matt. xvi. 13, 16, 20, and xxv. 31, "the Son of God," "the Son of man," and " the Christ." § 2. Origin of the appellation.
All the descriptive appellations of our Lord, in the ew Testament, are to be traced to the earlier revelation. " The Christ" of the evangelist and apostle, is "the Messiah" of David and of Daniel. " The Word," or Logos, of John, is "the Wisdom" of Solomon. " The Son of God" is borrowed from the second and eight^'-ninth Psalms; " He that should come," from the hundred and eighteenth Psalm; and even the proper name "Jesus," is but the Hebrew name " Jehoshua" with a Greek termination, signifying "Jehovah shall save," or " Jehovah the Saviour" — and thus, synonymous with Isaiah's "Immanuel," "God with us." It is a natural expectation, then, that the appellation "the Son of man," like our Lord's other titles, should have an Old Testament origin ; and the expectation is not disappointed. It has been common to seek this origin in that very remarkable oracle of the prophet Daniel, chapter vii. 9-14 : "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was wdiite as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I saw in the night- visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man" — literally, like a son of man, one in human form — " came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was
96 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. given him dominion, and glorj, and a kingdom, tliat all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." There can be no reasonable doubt that this is a Messianic oracle, whether it refers to the unition of the Divine and human nature in the person of the Messiah, or, as seems to me much more probable, to his solemn investiture with universal dominion. But the expression, "Son of man," is not here his appellation. He is said to be " like the,'' or rather like a, "son of man;" that is, the figure seen by the prophet in ecstatic vision Avore the human form. The true origin of the appellation is to be found, I apprehend, in the eightieth Psalm. It occurs in the 17th verse: "Let thy hand be upon the Man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man
whom thou madest strong for thyself;" the same person who is spoken of under another of the figurative prophetic appellations of the Messiah at the 14th verse, as " the Branch," which Jehovab had "made strong for himself" Such, I have no doubt, is the origin of the expression as a designation of the Messiah. § 3. Meaning of the appellation. We have thus ascertained satisfactorily that " the Son of man" is a descriptive appellation of the Messiah, and found its source in ancient prophecy. Let us now inquire into its meaning. What is the truth respecting the Messiah which it is intended to suggest to our minds? The expression "Son of man" is just equivalent to man, or partaker of human nature, — every man, but the first man, being a son of man. This is plain from the numerous passages where man and son of man are used as synonymous. " God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent." " Man who is a Avorm, and the -son of man who is but as a worm." " Thy wickedness may hurt a man, and thy righteousness may profit the son of man." " What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him ?" " What is man that thou takest knowledge of him, or the son of man that thou makest account of him?" "Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man who shall be made as grass?" " Blessed is the man that doth this, and the son of man that layeth hold of it." " o man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it." A son of man is just, then, a man ; and the son of man, when used generally, is just man or mankind. But, when used in reference to an individual, the appellation, "the son of man," is obviously meant to do two things; to mark him as one of the human race, and to distinguish him from others — ^it may be from all others — of that race. To illustrate our meaning by a parallel case. Bible is the Greek word for book, with an English termination. When I call a book the Bible, the book, I at once include it among books, and distinguish it from
PAET I.] THE SO OF MA . 97 Other books. It is a book, but it is the book of all books, the most important in its contents, the most certain in its statements, and, among all books, the only book of direct divine origin. When the Messiah is termed " the Son of man," the term fixes the mind both on the reality of his manhood, and on the circum-
stances which distinguish him among men. It marks him as truly a man, a descendant of man ; but it as really marks him as standing out from the rest of men. It fixes the mind both on what he has in common with all men, and what he is, and has, and does, which distinguish him from all men. What these things are, must be learned from the inspired account of the constitution of his person, the ofiice with which he is invested, the work devolved on him, and the events of his wonderful history. The leading thoughts suggested by the designation, " the Son of man," as given to our Lord Jesus Christ, are these : that he is a real man, truly a partaker of human nature ; that he is a perfect man, the normal man, man as he should be ; that he is the representative-man, the second Adam, charged with the responsibilities of the race; that he is the God-man, a true man in union with the true God : finally, that he is the predicted man, the great subject of ew Testament prophecy ; a man, a son of man — the man, the son of man. Let us very shortly attend to these important truths, all folded up in the appellation, " the Son of man." (1.) A real man. This appellation intimates that our Lord was a real man. It expresses his true humanity. Led away by a false philosophy respecting the essential malignity of matter, and the incongruity, not to speak of the impossibility, of the union of what is so entirely evil, with the holy spiritual Existence who is the Christ ; and bolstering up their system by misinterpretation of such scripture expressions as " the likeness of sinful flesh," " found in fashion as a man," some christian teachers of an early age denied the reality of the incarnation, and held that what seemed to be the body of Jesus Christ was a phantasm, and his sufferings and death mere appearances. Such opinions prevailed very early in the christian church ; and it is to their supporters that the apostle John seems to refer when he says, that " Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come m the flesh is of God : and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God, but is that spirit of Antichrist." o doctrine, not even the doctrine of our Lord's divinity, is more plainly taught in Scripture than that of the reality of his humanity. "The mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus," " The word was made flesh."' When the Eternal life was manifested, it was in flesh. The body he assumed was a true human body, possessed of the ordinary members, fit for the ordinary functions, liable to pain and fatigue, capable of deaths
> 1 Tim. iL 5. John i. 14. VOL. n. 7
98 THE SO OF M-\JSr, A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. And this body was animated, not by the Divine nature, or_ by some angelic or super-angelic spiritual essence, as its immediate principle of life and action, but by a human soul, having the common faculties of sense, and intellect, and choice, and affection, and action, which characterizes the human race. He had flesh and bones as we have. And he had not only a body to grow in size and strength, but a mind to expand in capacity, and to increase in attainment, as we have ; a heart to feel joy and sorrow, the bitterness of ingratitude, and the sweets of friendship. or is this all. He was not onl}^ really a man, but really the son of man. He was not a man created, but a man born. Though he liad no human father, he was made of a w^oman. The Holy Ghost came on her, — the most honored and blessed among women, — the power of the Highest overshadowed her, and that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Ghost ; and when the days were accomplished that she should be delivered, she l<H'oaght him forth, her first-born sou. The possession of a real human nature appears to have been necessary to our Eedeemer being an accomplished Saviour. How otherwise could he have made expiation for human guilt? how could he have exercised sympathy for human sufferings? how could he have been a pattern of human excellence ? Both the fact and its importance are strongly stated by the apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews. " Forasmuch as the children" — the many children whom he is to conduct to glory, as the Captain of salvation, perfected by suffering, — " are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself like\vise took part of the same, that through death lie might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he laid not hold on angels, but he laid hold of the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself had suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them who are tempted." The very frequent, the all but exclusive use, by the incarnate Son of God, of a word so strongly marking his humanity, is a
louchiug proof that, though "in the form of God," he did not boastfully display" his equality with God ; but, assuming the nature, delighted in the name of man, and was "not ashamed to call us brethren." But while the appellation, Son of man, marks our Lord as possessing, in common with men, all that is distinctive of human nature from angelic nature, or other natures, the appellation, the Son of man, as contrasted with a son of man, calls our attention even more strongly to what distinguishes him from other men. He is the Man, tfje Son of man. The term indicates that he is distinguished, that he stands out by himself, the Man among men, Ihe Son of man among the sons of men, like the first king of
TART I.] THE SO OF MA . 99 Israel, " standing among the people, but higher than any of the people, from his shoulders and upward." How he is distinguished we learn from ancient prophecy and ew Testament history. (2.) The perfect man. He is the ¦perfect man, — man as he should be, — the normal man. His mental constitution, both intellectually and morally, was just what it should be. Sense, intellect, affection, conscience, were all there in their right proportions, and in their due subordination. And his bodily constitution was fitted to its spiritual companion. Every element of innocent human nature was in him, — none deficient, none in excess ; so that, as in every case of other men there is either deficiency or excess, he was more a tnan than any other individual man ever v/as, and even in this way knew better than any man ever did, or could do, what is in man, and could sympathize with all in a degree no other man could do. And then in the whole exercise of his faculties, in all the feelings of his heart, in all his words, in all his actions, there was a perfect conformity to the mind and will of God. He always thought and felt as all men ought to think and feel. He always said just tlie right word, be always did just the right action ; and both at the right time and in the right way. ever man spake as he ."^pake ; he did all things well. He was the true David, "the man according to God's own heart, who did all his counsel." In this respect all his people resemble him, but none equal him ; he stands alone ; the Sou of man, " all fair, no spot in him." (3.) The representative-man.
He is the Man, the Son of man, as he is the Representativeinan, the second Adam. He is the Goel, the kinsman-redeemer. The happiness of the race is in his hands. He bears their responsibilities. " The Lord has made to meet on him the iniquities of us all." When exaction for man's sin is made, he becomes answerable ; when the great manifestation of displeasure against the sin of the race is to be given, the command is, "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the Man of my right hand, the Son of man, whom I have made strong for myself, to do my v/ill in taking away the sin of men by the sacrifice of himself" "^ It was a fearful trial; and, had he failed or been discouraged, where had been the hope of man ? Adam, the first representative, sinned ; and all became sinners by his sin. The Son of man, the second representative, obeyed, fulfilled all righteousness ; and all united to him are saved through his obedience Avith an everlasting salvation. In this respect he occupies the same relation to his brethren whom he is to bring to glory, as Adam did to the whole race whom he plunged into ruin ; and here, too, Jesus stands apart from all the race, and in strong contrast with the only man who ever stood on similar ground. There they stand : that' — the representative who sinned ; this — the representative who saves.
100 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII.
(4.) The God-man. Still farther, he is the Son of man, distinguished by a peculiarity of dignity different in kind from that which any man has ever enjoyed, or ever can enjoy. He is the Ood-man, the Son of man, who is at the same time not merely a son of God, but Vie Son of God. He is " the Word who was the beginning, who was with God, who was God ; by whom all things were made, without whom was not anything made that was made ; in whom was the life, and the life in him was the light of men." He was this " Word made flesh and dwelling among men." He was " God manifested in flesh." He and liis Father were one. He was " the" visible " image of the invisible God ;" so that he who saw him — the Son of man, who was also the Son of God, saw the Father. "This man," united to the eternal Word, " was one with him who is one with the Father and Spirit," and without irreverence may we apply to him, the second Adam, what, with a
very different meaning, Avas said of the first Adam, " Behold, the man is become as one of us!" He whom the apostles saw with their eyes, and looked upon and handled with their hands, was "the Word of life," the eternal Life which was with the Father, manifested. To use the words of a great divine, " This Son of man Avas the true Shechinah, the everlasting palace of the suEreme Majesty, wherein the fulness of the God-head dwelleth odily, the most holy shrine of the Divinity, the orb of inaccessible light:" I add, — the glorious effulgence of the Father of lights, — the substantial image of Him, of whom the whole created universe is but a dim shadow, demonstrating that He is, but very indistinctly showing what He is. In this Christ is the sou of man ; the only man who ever was — ever can be — one with God. Here not only is there none of the sons of men his equal, but none of them his resemblance : as the God-man, he is most emphatically the Son of man, infinitely exalted above his fellows. (5.) The predicted man. Finally, he is the Son of man, the predicted man and son of man, the great subject of Old Testament prophecy. There is a particular reference to this view of the significance of the terms m the passage before us, " The Son of man goeth, as it is written." Many men are subjects of Old Testament prophecy ; but there is one man who, under a great variety of names and descriptive designations, is the great subject of Old Testament prophecy. " To HTM all the prophets bear witness ;" and not unfrequently is he spoken of as " a man," "the man," and, at any rate in one passage, as " the Son of man." When we call our Lord the Son of man, we luean that he is the man of whom the spirit of prophecy is the testimony. This Son of man is the seed of the woman who was to bruise the head of the old serpent ; the Son of man (the word not distinguishing the sexes, but donoting the species)
PART I.] THE SO OF MA . 101 who was to destroy tlie works of the devih He is really what Eve seems to have thought she had obtained in her first son, " a man gotten from the Lord." This is the mysterious man who wrestled with Jacob till dawn of day ; the angel of the covenant, who left him not till He had blessed him. This is the man who appeared to Joshua as the captain of the Lord's host. This is the man promised to David to sit on his throne for ever. This is the man of Jehovah's right hand, the man whom He
made strong for himself He is the child born, — the son of the Virgin. This is he of whom it is said, " The Lord hath created a new thing on the earth ; a woman shall compass a man." He is the man who was to be the peace of God's people, and great unto the ends of the earth. He is the man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs. He is the man who was fully to realize the meaning of the promise, " A man shall be a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest : as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." This is he of whom thus speaketh the Lord of hosts by the prophet Zechariah, " Behold the man whose name is the Branch, and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord ; even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest upon his throne ; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." So much for the true import of the appellation, " The Son of man." The reason why our Lord so frequently used this appellation instead of the first person, seems not only to have been that already hinted at, ''the not being ashamed to call men his brethren," but also that that name, not being one of those understood by the Jews as belonging to the Messiah, the use of it enabled him to say much that, for future purposes, it was necessary to say ; which yet could not have been said, in language perfectly and universally perspicuous, without interfering with other important purposes. In his assertion, that " the Father hath given the Son authority to execute judgment because he is the Son of man," the appellation is probably to be viewed in the last aspect we have considered, and the reason assigned is substantially this, because he is that person in human nature to whom, according to the prophets, the administration of judgment in the kingdom of God was to be intrusted. The reason why none of the inspired writers use the appellation, may likely be, that while it was becoming in him to speak of himself under the lowest of his titles, it better became them to speak of him under titles more directly indicative of dignity, — superhuman dignity — such as, the Lord, the Christ, the Son of God. He might humble himself, but it became them to exalt him. The only exception, the case of Stephen, is accounted for by the visible human form in the midst of the Divine radiance, which struck the upturned eye of the martyr, entirely occupying
102' THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXF. XXIII.
his mind, and calling forth the appellation of our Lord most appropriate to it. This, then, is the Son of man, the Son of God, — your brother, your Saviour, your God. Behold the man ! Behold the God ! Look to Jesus! He has been set before you as the incarnate Divinity, your Lord and your God, yet bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh; as your representative and surety, who was wounded "for your transgressions, bruised for your iniquities ; who bore, and bore away, your sins ; whose blood cleanses you from all sin ; and who, ever living to make intercession for you, is able to save you to the uttermost ; as your great exemplar, the normal man, who has left you an example that you may walk in his steps, that j^ou may be in the world as he was in the world ; and finally, as he who is proved to be all this by the testimony of all the prophets. Behold him ! Behold him ! Turn away from everything else, and " look to Jesus." As you look to him, may you be lightened, and may your faces not be ashamed ! And while you present your unveiled minds as mirrors opposite to the representations made in the divinely-inspired word, and divinely-appointed emblems of the glory of God in the face of Immanuel, may you be changed, by what is so glorious, into such a resemblance of it as 3*our natures are capable of, and be made by his Spirit like him who delighted in calling himself the Son of man, and will never be satisfied till in truth, as well as in name, he has conformed you to himself as the Son of God ; he having for a season borne the image of the earthly Adam, that you might for ever bear the image of the heavenly Adam, the Son of God, the quickeaiing Spirit, the Lord from heaven.
II. — THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . The predestined, predicted " going" of this Son of man comes now to be considered. " The Son of man," said the Son of man himself, goeth, " goeth as was determined, goeth as it is written." It was a common thing for hirn to speak both of his coming and his going. Heaven was his original abode — earth was his present residence ; but it was not intended to be his permanent dwellingplace. He had come from heaven to earth, and was to go from earth to heaven. When he came, he came not unsent. He was commissioned to do a great work, and, when that work was accomplished, he was to return to Him that sent him. This is the
going referred to in the text, sometimes called his " decease" or departure, sometimes his being "taken up," which was to be "accomplished at Jerusalem." The time of his continuance on earth was now drawing to a dose. " The Son of man goeth," — is just about to go. In a very few days he should finish the work which the Father had given him to do, having glorified Him on the earth. In a very
PART II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . 103 few weeks he should be in Lis Father's hou.^c, on his Father's throne. The journey that was before him, on whieh he was just about to enter, was a very wonderful one: it was first a journey downward, into the lowest depths of sulfering and abasement ; and then a journey upward, from these depths to the loftiest heights of dignity and happiness. The journey had, as it were, two great stages. 'He goes to the grave, the lowest spot he can reach on earth ; and he goes to the throne of God, the highest spot he can reach in heaven. He goes to severe suffering and violent death ; he goes to eternnl life and to boundless enjoyment; and he goes through this suffering and death to this life and enjoyment. The cross is the way to the crown. " The Son of man gocth."' Let us, led by the Spirit of inspiration, endeavor to accompany him in his wondrous journey ; and when we have seen whither lie has gone, and what was the way, we will be ])rcpared for understanding the import of his words concerning this going, when he savs, " He goeth, as it was determined ; he gocth, as it is written."" § 1. He icent to the grave. "When our Lord uttered the words of the text, he had finished his public ministry. He had for the last time, before his entering on the first stage of his mysterious journey, — his journey to the house of silence, the low, lonely dwelling of the dead, — assembled his disciples together to celebrate along with them, once more, the symbolical ordinance which, for so many ages, had foreshadowed his passion, and to institute another, which should be its commemoration till time shall be no more. To cure tbem of their ambition, he taught them, by performing to them the menial ofiice of washing their feet, that, like their Master, they
should readily submit to the most degrading services, in order to promote the welfare of their fellow-disciples, and even fellowmen ; and that in his society the point of lionor was not superior power, but superior usefulness, not the highest dignity, but the deepest humility ; intimating to them meanwhile, that very high spiritual honors should be enjoyed by them as princes and judges, under him, over the twelve tribes of the spiritual Israel. Sitting at the passover table with them, with his loins girt, and his shoes on his feet and his staff in his hand, like one just about to go, to begin his journey, he intimated that one of them should betray him. " Tlie hand," said he, " of him who betrayeth me, is at the table. The Son of man goeth as it is writ en, goeth as it was determined ; but wo to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed." Having given the beloved disciple the means of ascertaining whom he referred to, and having intimated to the miserable man himself that he was aware of his treachery, he dismissed him, without apparently making any distinct disclosure to the body of his disciples. He then proceeded to say to his chosen, faithful few, "Little children, yet a little while I am with
104 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. you; ye shall seek me; and as I said to the Jews, now I say unto you, Whither I go ye cannot come." " Lord," said Simon Peter, with characteristic forwardness, "whither goest thou?" Jesus answered him, "Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now. but thou shalt follow me afterwards." He then instituted that solemn religious observance, in which, after more than eighteen centuries, we are come together to-day to engage, intimating that he and they were just about to part, and that most important events would take place ere they should meet again. " Verily, I say unto you, I shall no more driuk henceforth of the fruit of the vine, till I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father, God." "I go," he said to them, for he saw sorrow had filled their hearts, "I go to my Fathers house, in which are many mansions, to prepare a place for you; and I will come again, and take you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also ; and whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Alter offering them such instruction and consolation as they needed, and were able to bear, like one who, though feeling at parting with friends, yet having an important journey before him which ho is determined to prosecute, is impatient to commence it, he said to them, "That the world may know that I love the Father, and so do as the Father hath given me commandment,
Arise, let us go hence." The hour was come, and he shows himself ready to go ; he permits them to accompany him a part, a little part, of his way ; though the darkest and dreariest portion of the journey he must go alone. Of the people there can none be with him. Having given a few additional exhortations, and offered up that most wonderful prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the gospel of John, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Kcdron, to a garden on the Mount of Olives, where he and they had been wont to resort. He warned them of the hazard of their being offended — stumbled — at some of the dark steps of his departing journey during that night of trial ; and coming to a place whose name is embalmed in all christian hearts, ill all countries and ages, Gethsemane, he requested eight of the disciples to remain near the entrance, while he, taking with him his three personal friends to be witnesses of the strange transaction that was to take place, retired into the depths of the orchard to watch and pray, and fight with potent but invisible foes. " ow Avas the power of darkness. ow the prince of this world came to him." Untouched by mortal hand, " he began to be sorrowful, sore amazed, and very heavy," and said to his three friends, " My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death ; tarry ye here, and watch with me. Pray that ye enter not into temptation." And going forward a little, about a stone-cast, he kneeled down, and fell on his face on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, that hour, — that is, the extreme inward suffering of that hour, might pass from him. "Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee. 0, my Father, if it be possible, take away
PART II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA , 105 this cup ; let it pass from me ; nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." He returned and found his three disciples sleeping, worn out with fatigue and sorrow. " Could ye not," said he, " watch with me one hour ? AVatch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again he retired, and prostrated himself, and, "with strong crying and tears," presented the same supplication. Returning again, he again found them asleep ; and again he retired, and prostrated himself, and with unabated intcnseness of desire presented a third time the same prayer, and, "being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as great drops of blood falling to the ground." The struggle is over ; the prayer is heard. The prince of this world retires, finding that
he has nothing in him. The cup — that cup — of agony, which threatened to dissolve the bands of life, passes from him, and " an angel appears to him, strengthening him." Coming to his disciples, he speaks to them as one bent, with unchanged resolution and undaunted courage, on prosecuting his journey, notwithstanding the fearful storm he had met in its commencement. "The hour," said he, "is at hand when the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that doth betray me." And there, indeed, was the treacherous disciple, followed at a little distance by a band of soldiers and other attendants, with lanterns, and torches, and weapons. According to a preconcerted plan, the traitor, by a salute, gave intimation to the officers of the law whom they were to apprehend. Instead of attempting to escape, having meekly rebuked Judas for his foul treason — "Friend, wherefore art thou come ? Judas, betraycst thou the Son of man with a kiss?" he undauntedly walked up to the armed band, and, by miraculously making them go backward and fall to the ground, rendering it evident that he needed no legions of angels to protect him, and that no created power could make him an unwilling prisoner, he surrendered himself into their hands, submitting to be bound by them, having requested that his disciples might be allowed to go away. Hopeless now, it would seem, in reference to him, and terrified for themselves, the disciples all forsook him and fled. He must now prosecute his journey alone ; and, single-handed, struggle with the difficulties of the weighty enterprise of a world's redemption. Lovers and friends have been parted from him; but he does not fail, nor is he discouraged. Having exercised his miraculous power in healing a wound inflicted by a rash disciple on one of Judas' band, he proceeded under their guidance, offering no resistance, to the assembled Sanhedrim of the Jews — a lamb in the midst of wolves. There, questioned by the high priest of his doctrine, he appealed to the unnumbered multitudes who had heard him, as the proper witnesses in such a case ; and, when contumeliously struck in the face by an officer of the court for making so reasonable a suggestion, meekly
106 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. replied, " If I Lave spoken evil, bear witness of the evil ; but if well, why smitest thou?" After ineffectual attempts to obtain anything like legal proof, they determined to oblige him to
bear evidence against his own life. The high priest solemnly adjured him (the Jewish mode of administering an oath), by the living God, to say whether he was the Christ, the Son of the living God? "He confessed, and denied not, but confessed" the truth, though v/ell aware of the purpose for which the question Avas put, and the consequence Avhich would result from the answer. " Thou hast said it. I am. evertheless I say unto you. Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven." With ill -concealed exultation, the high priest rent his clothes, pronounced him guilty of blasphemy, and the assessors with one voice condemned him as worthy of death. During this mock trial, the disciple who had been most frequent and fervent in expressions of attachment to him, panic-struck, probably under his eye, within his hearing — certainly to his intimate knowledge — again and again, with oaths and execration, denied that he knew him. And no sooner was the sentence of condemnation pronounced than every species of vulgar insult was heaped on him. They mocked him, and spat in his face, and buffeted and smote him. They blindfolded and struck him on. the face with the palms of their hands, and, in inhuman sport, asked him, saying, " Prophesy unto us, thou Christ : who is it that smote thee?" Morning was now come. The Sanhedrim withdrew, and held a secret council ; the result of which was, that they should use every means to have the sentence of death carried into execution. In a body they proceeded with their bound victim to the residence of the Roman governor, and demanded due punishment to be inflicted on him as a convicted criminal of the deepest dye. Finding that, much disposed as the pusillanimous Roman magistrate was to ingratiate himself Vvdth the Jewish rulers and people, he was not inclined to order a man to execution merely because they said he was a malefactor, they brought against Jesus the false accusation of sedition and rebellion against the Roman government. "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying. That he himself is Christ, a king." To these accusations, Jesus, to the amazement of Pilate, made no reply, as if indisposed to interfere with the current of events which was carrying him along his appointed course. On being solemnly questioned as to the regal character which, it was said, he had assumed, he replied, " I am a king. My kingdom is not of this world. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness of the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." Fully satisfied, from the utter failure of the Jews to produce evidence of their charge, as well as from conversation with Je-
Bus, that he was no aspirant after worldly dominion — that his de-
PART 11.] THE GOI G OF THE SOX OF MA . 107 signs in no degree hazarded the peace of tlic Roman empire, or the securitj of Caesar's throne, — Pilate declared that he saw no fault in him requiring capital punishment. On the Jewish rulers insisting on their unsupported charge, and mentioning Galilee as one of the chief theatres of Jesus' seditious machinations, Pilate gladly handed over the case to the tetrarch Herod, within whose jurisdiction Galilee was, and who, in consequence of the feast of the passovcr, happened at that time to be in Jerusalem. To that unprincipled licentious prince he was then conducted, and the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. To Herod's impertinent questionings (for it is plain that he had hojied to have his curiosity gratified by the great azarene miracle-worker performing some wonder in his presence), and to their malignant pleadings, he equally gave no reply. Irritated at his disappointment, the Galilean prince, with almost inconceivable meanness, joined with his men of war in setting at naught his helpless, accused, but unconvicted subject, ^'ho had peculiar claims on his protection; and, mocking him, and arraying him in a gorgeous robe, sent him back again to Pilate. On his return Pilate summoned the Sanhedrim into his presence, stated to them that neither he nor Herod had been able to find any evidence of the civil crime with which they had charged Jesus, and that he had come to the resolution to discharge him, though, to gratify them apparently, he, with most unprincipled inconsistency, declared that he was ready to order him to be scourged — a punishment at once highly disgraceful and very painfal ; and most preposterously, in their obvious temper, attempted to induce them to accept of the release of the very person for whose condemnation they had made a special request, as the accustomed boon the Roman government had been in the habit of giving the Jewish people at their great annual religious festival. This inconsiderate proposal roused their antipathy to madness, and they demanded the release of Barabbas, a robber and murderer; while the universal cry of the populace, led by their rulers, with respect to Jesus, was, " To the cross with him, to the cross with him ; crucify him, crucify him." In vain did the weak-minded, unprincipled Roman magistrate exclaim, "What evil has he done?" The louder
was the sanguinary outcrj^, " To the cross, to the cross." Humanit}', justice, law, decency, Avere all sacrificed to persevering, clamorous malignity, hj unprincipled imbecility and mean selfish love of popularity. Their voices prevailed, and sentence was given forth that Jesus should be crucified. According to the Roman usage, scourging uniformly preceded crucifixion. This punishment was inflicted with its usual severity ; and, in addition, the soldiery stripped him of his garments, clothed him in robes of mock royalty, crowned him with a garland of thorns, put a reed in his hand as a sceptre ; and, while they insultingly offered him pretended homage, they most cruelly smote him
108 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. on the thorn-surrounded head with their hands and with the reed. The conscience of Pilate, stirred by an alarming message from his wife respecting a dream concerning " this just man,'^ whom he was so unworthily giving up into the hands of his enemies, induced him to make one last effort to save his life. Believing, probably, that when they saw the miserable circumstances to which tiie object of their dislike was reduced, they might think he had suffered enough, he brought forth Jesus, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robes, with a countenance pale with exhaustion and besmeared with blood, and said to the multitude, " Behold the man." A horrid shout immediately rose, " Crucify him ; crucify him." " Take ye him and crucify him," said the wretched, contemptible magistrate; "for /find no fault in him." The Jews then asserted that he deserved to die, according to their law, for claiming Divine sonship. This intimation but increased the terrors of the heathen judge, in whom, like many of his rank of that time, there seems to have been a strong mixture of scepticism and superstition. In serious alarm he turned to Jesus, and exclaimed, " Who art thou?" But the mysterious man made no reply. "Speakest thou not to me?" said the irritated and terrified man of office. " Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee ?" The calm reply, " Thou couldst have no power at all against ME, except it was given thee from above," increased his alarm, and rendered him more desirous than ever to save the victim of priestly hatred. But in vain. The Jews were staunch murderers, steady to their purpose, and they knew the man they had to deal with.
"If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend." This determined the question in Pilate's mind, and he was now prepared to do what he knew to be injustice, what he felt to be inhumanity, what he feared might be impiety, to avoid the hazard of being even falsely accused of being deficient in a due regard for the honor and rights of his master's imperial crown. Once more, however, he attempted to move their pity ; again he presented him to them, saying, " Behold your king ;" but he was met with a storm of indignant refusal. " Away .with him, away with him ; crucify him, crucify him." " Shall I crucify your king?" said he sarcastically. With a hearty response, which showed that, in their hatred of Jesus, they had for the time sunk even their nationality of feeling, stronger in them than in any gentile j^eople, the chief priests answered, " We have no king but Caesar." Seeking for some excuse or palliation for doing what he knew to be wrong, Pilate attempted to appease his conscience bj washing his hands publicly, and declaring himself free of this innocent man's blood, whose unjust sentence he had already pronounced, and was determined to execute. " His blood," cried the infuriated crowd, " be on us and our children ;" and
PART II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . 109 Pilate, willing to content the people, gave sentence that it should be as they required. The robber and murderer was relcassd, and the Holy One and the just, after being scourged, was delivered to their will to be crucified. And now again they meanly and barbarously mock and abus3 him, and, taking off tiie robes of mock royalty, and putting on his own raiment, they lead him away, with two malefactors condemned to the cross, to Calvary, to crucify him. Bending under the weight of the upper part of his cross, while one of his disciples is compelled to bear the hinder part of it after him, he passes along the streets of the Holy City, surrounded by an infuriated mob, who rejoiced in his sufferings, followed b}' not a few, especiall}^ of his female disciples, bewailing and lamenting him. " Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me," said the divine sufferer with superhuman magnanimity ; " weep for yourselves and for your children." Arrived at the place of execution, they gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. Tiiey then nailed him and his fellow-sufferers to their crosses, and -set the crosses upright in the earth, placing that of Jesus in the midst,
as if he had been the greatest malefactor of the three. o complaint is heard from him of their cruelty, but a prayer comes forth from the middle cross, " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Having finished their horrid work, the Eoman soldiers, who were the executioners, divided his garments among them, and disposed by lot of the seamless tunic which he had been accustomed to wear. The malignity of his enemies seemed to burn as fiercely as ever. The people passing by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." And the priests, with deeper hatred and profaneness still, derided him, mocking among themselves, with the scribes and elders, and saying in a parody of Scripture, " He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be Christ, the chosen of God, the Lord of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, that we may see, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let Plim deliver him now, if he will have him." The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, and saying, "If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself." Even the malefactors who were crucified, joined in the all but universal expression of malignant scorn. But a strange change came over the mind of one of these malefactors. Whde he hung by Jesus' side, virtue came out of Him. His meek, pious, heroic suffering, connected, it may be, with what had been previously heard and seen of Plim, accompanied with the inward working of the good Spirit, convinced the malefactor that that crucified man was indeed the promised Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. He reproved the blasphemies of his companion, and humbly besought Jesus to think of him in pity when he entered on his reign, " Lord, remember me when
110 THE SOX OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. thou comcst into thy kingdom," Oh ! who can apprehend the infinity of majesty and mercy in the reply, " Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." For six hours of mortal agony, every moment enduring more than the pangs of an ordinary painful death, did Jesus bang on the cross. ear the foot of it he recognized his mother, and his dearest earthly friend. To her, the most blessed among women, whose heart now Avas struck through with the sword of which
Simeon spoke, he said, looking to John, "Behold thy son !" 'he will take care of thee when I am gone;' and to him he gave the highest proof of his confidence, by committing to his care the dearest of all his human relations. "Behold," said he, "thy mother !" 'Be to her in my stead.' But what was going on within amid all this outward suffering ? Ah ! the iron had entered into the soul. All these external evils are but types, emblems of bitterer inward woes. The sufierings of his soul were the soul of his sufferings. Of the travail of his soul we are enabled to forn^i some idea, from the bitter cry which at the ninth hour was heard from the patient, magnanimous sufferer, "My Grod! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" This was the climax of his sufferings. " I thirst," said he; and having received the vinegar, held up to him on a sponge attached to a reed, he exclaimed, "It is finished!" The agony is past. The expiation of human guilt is completed. It can no longer please Jehovah to bruise him. The face of God again shines benigiiantly on him. He committed his parting spirit to his Father, well pleased for His righteousness' sake. He cried with a loud voice, " Father, into th}^ hands I commend my spirit; and, having said this, he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." Heaven and earth attested the importance of the event. The sun was darkened ; the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom ; tlie earth quaked, the rocks rent, and the graves were opened ; while those tacit testimonies found voice and expression in the words of the Eoman centurion, "Truly this was a righteous man ; truly this was a the Son of God." On the soldiers proceeding to that strange mixture of barbarity and mercy, the breaking the limbs of the crucified to hasten death, they found that Jesus was already dead ; and the absolute certainty of his death was proved by an effusion of blood and water which followed the piercing of his side by a spear. On learning that he had expired, one of his wealthy followers, who, it would seem, never had had courage to avow his faith in him during his lifetime, went, now that he hung a dishonored corpse on a cross, boldly to the Roman governor, requesting libcriy to perform the last offices of respect to his body ; and having obtained this, took down the body of Jesus from the cross, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, being joined by another wealthy but secret disciple ; and having wound it with spices and linen clothes, as the manner of the Jews was to bury, they laid it, with a mixed sentiment
TAKT II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . Ill of doubt and faitli, with profound respect and deep sorrow, in Joseph of Arimathea's garden, in his own new tomb hewn out of the rock, wherein never man had yet been laid. And now the Son of man lias reached the end of the first stage in his journey liome. All this took place within little more than twenty-four hours from the time to which our text refers, and was all present to the Saviour's mind when he said, " Truly, the Son of man goeth." § 2. He loent to the grave as it is loritten. Before proceeding farther in tracing the Son of man's amazing journey, it may be well for us here to stop and inquire how, when he went thus to the grave, he went "as i: is written "? It was written that he should go, and he went " as it was written.'' Here, there are three remarks which deserve our attention, — (1.) He went in the character in which it was written he should go ; (2.) He went in the disposition in which it was written he should go ; and (3.) In many of the pariicular and even minute details of his progress, he went "as it was written," (1.) He sufi'ered and died as a public person, the representative of his people, the victim of sin. He laid down his life for the sheep. He gave himself a ransom for many. He suflPered for us, the just in the room of the unjust ; and this is as it was written. What says David? "I restored that which I took not away." What says Isaiah ? " He was wounded for our transgressions ; he Vr'as bruised for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was on him. The Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all. Exaction was made, and he became ansvrcrable. He made his soul an offering for sin; he poured out his soul to, death ; he bare the sin of many." What says Daniel ? " Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself." (2.) He went, as we have seen, in the spirit of the most entire self-devotedncss, cheerful resignation, magnanimous fortitude. o man took his life from him ; he laid it down of himself. And all this was written of him. What saj^s David? "Lo, I come ; to do thy will I take delight ; yea, thy law is within my heart." What says Isaiah ? " I was not rebellious, neither turned away back ; I have set my fice as a flint." " He shall not fail nor be discouraged. He was oppressed and afflicted ; yet he opened not his mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaugh-
ter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." (3.) The agony in Gethsemanc was as it is written : " Save me, O God ! for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying ; my throat is dried. O God 1 in the multitude of thy mercy, hear me ; in the truth of thy salvation, deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink ; let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth on
112 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G, [EXP. XXIIL me. Hide not thy face from tliy servant, for I am in troulale ; hear me speedily." His betrayal lay a false disciple was as it was written : " Yea," said David in the person of Messiah, " mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me."' ''They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver," says Zechariah: "and the Lord said, Cast it to the potter : a goodly price that I was prized at of them." The manner in which his death was accomplished by injustice under the color of law, was as it was written : " By oppression and by judgment," that is, by an oppressive judgment, "was he taken otf;" for this is admitted to be the true rendering of the passage, " He was taken from prison and from judgment." Many of the particular insults and injuries done him were as it is written : "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them who plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting." " I am a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn ; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, they say. He trusted in the Lord that He would deliver him ; let Him deliver him, seeing he delighted in Him." " The abjects gathered themselves against me ; they did tear me and ceased not ; with hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed on me with their teeth." " They pierced my hands and my feet." " He was numbered with the transgressors." " They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." " They parted my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots."
The preservation of his body from the breaking of the limbs, and the piercing of his side, were equally as it was written : " Many were the afflictions of the righteous One ; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all : he keepeth all his bones ; not one of them is broken." " They shall look upon me whom they have pierced." In line, the remarkable circumstances of his funeral were as it is written : " He made his grave with the wicked, and was with the rich in his death ;" or rather, " His grave was given " — appointed — to be " with the malefoctors " along with whom he was executed : " but he was with the rich while in the state of the dead." Thus did Christ die for our sins, and thus was he buried, " according to the Scriptures." Thus far it is plain, then, he went as it was written. Many of these things were done in ignorance by the Jews and their rulers ; but by their means, " those things which God before had showed by the mouths of all his prophets, he so fulfilled." And as he went " as it is written," so he went " as it was determined ;" for, had it not been determined, how could it have been written ? Fulfilled prophecy is the most striking proof of Divine ordination. All was the result of God's purpose and infinite wisdom and mercy, purposed in himself before the world was. And " when Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles
PAET II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . 113 and the people of Israel, were gathered together against God's holy cliild Jesus," it was, though most unconsciously, but " to do whatsoever God's hand and counsel had beforetinie determined to be done." So much for the Son of man going to the grave in his way to his Father — going as it is written. § 3. He went to heaven. " The Son of man goeth ; goeth, as it is written ; goeth, as it was determined." We have accompanied him to the cross and the grave ; but that is not the end of his journey. He is going to the house of his Father ; and t'hough that lowly, lonesome, loathsome dwelling, is the house our father's sin had prepared for lis as our long home, it is not the house which the love of his Father has prepared for him. o : it was not possible he should continue long there. Mortality could not long hold tliat body
which was in personal union with Him who alone hath immortality. It was to mark distinctly that his work was finished, fully finished, that he went there. That end had been gained, and on the morning of the third day he commenced his wondrous journey from the lowest spot in earth to the highest place in heaven. "The God of peace," the pacified Divinity, "brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant." " In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn, there was a great earthquake : for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door" of the Son of man's sepulchre, "and sat on it. His countenance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow : and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." And who is this that cometh forth from the tomb, glorious in his appearance, walking in the greatness of his strength ? It is the Son of man. He has risen a conqueror from the grave ; he returns with blessings from the world of spirits ; he brings salvation to the sons of men. ever did the returning sun usher in a day like this. It is the jubilee of the universe. The morning stars are singing together, and all the sons of God are shouting for joy. " Glory to God in the highest : on earth, peace ; good-will to men." And the Father of mercies is looking down with infinite complacency on his beloved Son, who has magnified His law and made it honorable, and secured the reign of grace through righteousness, unto the eternal life of millions of otherwise hopelessly lost immortals. But he has as yet only returned to the world of mortal life. Here he is not to remain. Still it is, " The Son of man goeth," — "goeth as it is written," — " goeth as it was determined." For forty days he continued on earth, to give many infallible proofs of the reality of his resurrection, and to give the necessary commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen, speaking to them of the things that pertained to the kingdom of God. And VOL. II. 8
114 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. novsr his work is done, and it is mee.t that lie enter on his full reward, — expedient, too, for his people, that the Comforter may come to them, who cannot come till he, seated on his throne, send him. So, on a day never to be forgotten on earth or in heaven,
having discoursed to the disciples, whom having loved in the world he loved to the end, of the fulfillment in him of all things written in the law of Moses and in the Propliets concerning him, and having opened their understandings to understand the Scriptures, and commanded them to preach repentance and remission of sins in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, and promised to send them the promise of the Father, and enjoined them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, — " he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them ; and it came to pass, that while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." While the disciples, awe-struck, were worshipping their ascending Lord, a cloud received him out of their sight ; and two angels, like men in white apparel, recalled them to the real circumstances of their situation by saying, " Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing up to heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Of what took place within the veil, beyond these visible heavens, in the heaven of heavens, we cannot not now speak particularly. o doubt the whole celestial city was moved at his coming, and a meet reception was given by the King, the Lord of hosts, and all his loyal subjects, to him who is the King, and the King's Son, returning more than a conqueror from his fearful conflict with sin, and death, and hell. A name is given him above every name. He oits down on his Father's throne, at his right hand ;' " angels, and authorities, and powers, are made subject to him ;" and most gladly is the command obeyed, "Let all the angels of God worship him." Thus has the Son of man gone from the cross to the crown — from the grave to the throne ; thus has he, through suffering and degradation, entered into glory and happiness ; thus has he gone to the Father. § 4. He went to heaven^ as it is written. And in thus going, he went " as it is written," — " as it was determined." For these are the recorded oracles of God, which are but revelations of his eternal decrees: — " Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life ; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." " God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet : Sing praises to God, sing praises ; sing praises unto our King, sing praises." " Thou hast ascended on high ; thou hast led captivity captive ; thou hast received gifts for men." "The Kjng shall joy
PART II.] THE GOI G OF THE SO OF MA . 115 in thy strength, Lord ; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice ! Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. For thou preventest him with the blessings of thy goodness : thou hast set a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gave:5t it him, even length of days for ever and ever. Ilis glory is great in thy salvation : honor and majesty hast thou laid on him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever : thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance." "I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before Him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away ; and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Such is the prediction — such the decree of God ; and thus does it appear, that in the second, as well as in the first, stage of his journey, "the Son of man goeth as it is written," — " goeth as it was determined." Brethren, the Son of man, who came from heaven to earth, and is gone from earth to heaven, will once again come from heaven to earth. When he comes, he comes not to continue on earth, but to gather together all his elect ones, and take them with him, soul and body, to the heaven of heavens, to live and reign with him for ever and ever. Such is the blessed hope he has connected with his glorious appearance. CJierish this hope, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, — cherish this hope, and live under its influence. He is gone, and you must go. You would not wish, surely, to stay always in a world from which he has departed. When you go, whomsoever — whatsoever — you go from, you go to him ; and is not " to depart," when it is " to be with Christ, far better " ? Live habitually under the influence of the hope of going to be with him in spirit when you die, — going to be with him in body and spirit when you rise again. He has prepared a place for you, — he is preparing you for that place ; and he will come again and take you to himself, that where he is, there ye may be also. " Whither ye go ye know, and the way ye know." Wonder not if some part of the way should be dark and dreary,
rugged and thorny. Think of the way in which he went ; and humbly, hopefully, tread in his footsteps, even when they are marked with blood. He will not leave your redeemed souls in the separate state, — he will not permit your sanctified bodies for ' ever to be the prey of corruption. " He that should come, will come," and take all his people home to his Father's house, — presenting them, every one of them, the whole of every one of them — soul, body, and spirit, — to Him, " a glorious church, without ,spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." He will by and by show you, as his Father showed him, "the path of life," and "in his light you shall see light clearly."
116 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. Oh, while we look for such things, what manner of persons should we be in all holy conversation and godliness ! Surely, we should be "stedfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, inasmuch as we know our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord." And " now, may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." Christian brethren :' The words which follow those on which we have been discoursing and meditating are interesting ones. Have you observed them ? " Wo to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed." It was strange that any man should betray the Son of man, the best friend of the race ; stranger still, that the traitor should be one of his chosen attendants. Yet so it was. Judas, a peculiarly trusted disciple, was the author of the foul treachery. Under the guise of an act of friendship, he betrayed his Master into the hands of his enemies, who mocked, and scourged, and crucified him. The traitor's crime was the foulest the sun had ever witnessed, and his plagues were wonderful. He became " magor-missabib," a terror to himself and to all around him. "Wo," wo was "to that man, by whom the Son of man was betrayed." Oh ! who can tell the anguish which rent the heart of the miserable man, when, casting down the wages of iniquity, he exclaimed, " I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood," and met with the cold taunt from his accomplices in the murder of the Son of man, " What is that to us ? see thou to it." Oh ! who can imagine the horror of thick darkness which enveloped his desolate soul, when, in the dead of night, he violated nature's first law, fearing that his sin
could not be forgiven, feeling that his punishment could not be borne ! His body lies at the foot of the precipice in mangled fragments. . His soul is gone to its own place. " Good had it been for that man that he had never been born." It is a fearful history, but full of warning and instruction ; full of warning and instruction to us, to all, who by profession are the disciples of Christ ; full of peculiarly ajopropriate instruction to us in the circumstances in which we are at present placed. Think you, christian friends, that Jesus Christ ever sees so large a company of professed disciples sitting at his table, as he now sees — for he is indeed in the midst of us, — without thinking, " Some of these will betray me " ? " The hand of him that betrayeth me is on the table." Is not that what he is thinking now? And should not the thought that he so thinks, lead us to say, each for himself, "Lord, is it I?" When what he always thinks when many observe the Lord's Supper, was said by him 2 This discourse was originally delivered previously to the administration of the Lord's Supper, and the paragraphs which follow formed the concluding exhortation.
EXP. XXIII.] CO CLUSIO ". 117 when a few were met to observe the passover, as good men are not suspicious of others, but jealous of themselves, none of the disciples thought of his brother. Every one feared for himself, — all but the traitor, whom the consciousness of guilt kept for a season silent, till the fear of suspicion drew from his reluctant and trembling lips, what had already burst spontaneously from the hearts of his fellows, " Lord, is it I ?" I suspect none of you. You, I dare say, suspect not one another ; but let every man suspect himself, for there is a traitor to Christ in every heart. We cannot, though we wished it, imitate to the letter the conduct of Judas. Jesus is gone to the Father, and, in the embraces of Almighty love, is safe for ever from all the craft and power of all his enemies. False friend, open foe, can never hurt him more. He can never again be betrayed into the hands of his enemies: but -though his person cannot, his cause may; and it is in that form that we are in danger of becoming traitors to our Lord and King. He betrays Christ who, after professing Christianit}' , abandons its profession ; and he betrays him too, who assumes that profession, and, without abandoning it, disgraces it
by acting inconsistently with it. The apostate is a traitor. He delivers up the cause of Christ, so far as it is in his hand, into the hands of sinners, to be mocked, and spit upon, and crucified. He says, like Judas, ' This is it, take, hold it fast. I have made a trial of it, and found it wanting. Jesus is an impostor, and let him be treated accordingly.' Open apostasy proclaims this ; silent apostasy implies it. This is " trampling under foot the Son of God, and counting the blood of the covenant, by which alone there is sanctification, itself an unholy thing." Wo, wo to the man who thus betrays the Son of man ! There is no other sacrifice for sin ; and for him who puts it away from him, there is nothing in thp coming eternity "but a certain fearful looking for of judgment to devour the adversaries." But the apostate is not the only traitor. His crime comes nearer that of Judas, who, continuing to 23rofess to regard Christianity as divine, corrupts its doctrines and disregards its laws. The practical antinomian, the worldly, inconsistent, wicked, professor of Christianity, hands over Christ's cause to his enemies, to be misrepresented and abused. Instead of adorning the doctrine of their Divine Saviour — Grod their Saviour, — they give occasion to blaspheme both Him and it. Wo, wo to him who thus betrays the Son of man — " betrays him with a kiss !" Even now the Lord indignantly asks him, " Why call ye me Lord, Lord, while ye do not the things I say to you ?" And oh ! how gladly would he at last hide himself, under the rocks and mountains, from the withering look with which these words will be pronounced from the tlirone of universal judgment, — " Depart from me, I never knew thee, thou worker of iniquity !" God forbid that these woes should lie on you, or on me, my brethren ! I doubt not that at present, with minds irradiated with the
118 THE SO OF MA , A D HIS GOI G. [EXP. XXIII. light of saving truth, and hearts warmed with the love of the Saviour, many of you feel as if it were utterly impossible that you should, in either of these ways, deny the Lord who bought you, that you should even act Peter's part, far less Judas's. You cannot shrink too sensitively from the slightest approach to either ; but one of the best preventives is a deep -seated conviction, a habitual feeling, that in you dwelleth no good thing; and that, apart from Christ, left to yourself, treachery to your Lord is not only possible, but certain. Keep close to him, and you are safe ; not otherwise. Beware of tampering with temptation ; beware
of self-conlidencej — "Beware of Peter's word, or confidently say — I never will deny my Lord ; But grant I never may." " Watch and be sober," " watch unto prayer ;" " Satan desires to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." The world in which you live is fidl of snares, and your most dangerous enemy is within, " the evil heart of unbelief." " Keep the heart with all diligence," and " watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation." Trust in the Saviour's faithful promise, "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish ; neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all ; and none can pluck them out of my Father's hand." Expect the fulfilment of this promise; but expect it only in hearing his voice, and following him as the good Shepherd. " Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at his revelation ;" yet " fear lest sucli a promise of entering into his rest being left, any of you should seem to come short of it." Think, on the one hand, how many have seemed to run well, and yet have turned aside after Satan, gone back to perdition ! Think, on the other, how many, weak as you, have, strong in the strength that is in Christ Jesus, persevered in running the race set before them, till, reaching the goal, they obtained the prize of their high and holy calling, and are now casting at the feet of their Leader and Kewarder the unwithering garlands with which he has crowned them ! Contemplate those who have made shipwreck of faith and hope, of happiness and heaven; and those who, witli fall spread sail, a rising tide, and favorable gale, have entered the fair, the safe haven. Let the open apostasies or secret withdrawals of false disciples awaken holy jealousy of yourselves, and produce more entire reliance on, more devoted obedience to, your Lord. Let their lukewarmncss but increase your ardor, and their treachery confirm your allegiance, and make the reflections and the determinations of the christian poet your own : — " When any turn from Zion's way — Alas ! what numbers do ! — Methinks I hear my Saviour say, * Wilt thon forsake me too f '
EXP. XXIII.] CO CLUSIO . 119 " Ah ! Lord ! with such a heart as mine. Unless thou hoUl me fast, I feel I must, I shall, decliue, And prove like them at last. " Yet thou alone hast power, I know, To save a wretch like me : To whom or whither should I go. If I should turn from thee ? " Beyond a doubt, I rest assured. Thou art the Christ of God, Who hast eternal life secured By promise and by blood. "The help of men and^angels joined Could never reach my case ; or can I hope relief to find But in thy boundless grace. - " o voice but thine can give me rest, And bid my fears depart ; o love but thine can make me blessed, And satisfy my heart. " What anguish has that question stirred, 'If I will also go? ' Yet, Lord 1 relying on thy word, I humbly answer, — ' o.' " Stand by tliat resolution. Hold fast what you have received ; let no man take your crown. It is as certainly yours as if you had it, if you persevere. Faithful is he who has said it — not a man that he should lie ; though the Son of man, not such a son of man as changes his mind — " Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life," To him and to his Father we commend the keeping of your souls. They are able, by their good Spirit, to " keep you from falling, and to present you before the presence of their glory with exceeding joy." And now, " Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers ! God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ! keej? this for ever in the imaginations of the thoughts of the heart of us thy
people, and prepare our heart unto thee. Let thy hand be upon the Man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself; so shall we not go back from thee: quicken us, and we shall call on thy name. Turn us again, O Lord of hosts ! cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved."
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